What is it about Chick-fil-A? Their food is fantastic, sure, but what keeps them in the headlines time after time are the acts of kindness their employees seem to commit as if it’s part of the job description.
I mean, when is the last time you heard about a fast food burger spot giving exclusive use of their dining room, along with plenty of free food, to first responders and linemen after a devastating hurricane? Or offering shelter to a woman moments away from giving birth, and then blessing her family with free food for life?
Being classy seems to be par for the course for Chick-fil-A and its smiling employees, and Ashley Guzman of the La Palmera Mall location in Texas is certainly no exception.
According to local news outlet KIII, Guzman was halfway through her shift on a day like any other. “I came in. It was a normal day at work,” the 19-year-old recalled. “It was the end of our lunch rush.”
As she was working, she noticed Arturo Ramirez, one of the restaurant’s regulars, come up to be served.
Guzman shared with KIII that it’s not unusual for a server at Chick-Fil-A to help Ramirez, who is disabled, get around the restaurant and find a seat.
That day, however, Guzman took her service a step beyond. “…We help him around and get his food,” she said, “but that day I helped him. I got him his food and I went around and I sat with him.”
Guzman didn’t expect anything to come of the simple act of accompanying Ramirez, who almost exclusively spends his visits to Chick-Fil-A alone, but her kindness caught the eye of Jessica Gomez, who snapped a photo of the touching moment and shared it on Facebook.
While eating at the mall with my family I saw this lovely girl help this man out. I've seen this man several times here…
“I’ve seen this man several times here by himself,” Gomez wrote in her post. “The times I’ve been here everyone just leaves him. She cut his food into pieces and went back several times to get him whatever he needed. May God bless this woman.”
Although the incredible photo of her sweet care of Ramirez has now gone Viral, Guzman says she certainly wasn’t doing it for the attention. “I was really surprised when I saw it and I didn’t know what to think at first, and I was really nervous because all these people were seeing it,” Guzman said of the Facebook post. “And you know, out of everybody, like, like why was it me?”
“It’s called an intentional act of kindness,” Chick-fil-A Operations Director Melissa Tamez said, noting that the restaurant’s staff are encouraged to find any way they can to be a blessing to their customers and their community.
“It tells us a lot about her. She has a really good heart,” Tamez continued, noting that Guzman is a shining example of the Chick-fil-A culture. “She loves to come to work every day.”
“It makes me feel good that I can have a connection with somebody and make their day a little bit better, or give them some positivity, because you don’t know what people are going through,” Guzman shared with KIII.
Truly, Guzman’s example is a great one for any of us to follow. Be on the lookout for ways you can be a blessing to someone today!
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Former Green Beret Sentenced To A Night In Jail, But What The Judge Does Next Will Blow You Away
Judge Lou Olivera doesn’t have an easy job.
Sure, it’s great to be the one to hand down justice to an unrepentant criminal or someone who poses a serious danger to society. Still, judges have hearts like anyone else and there are just as many instances where a judge like Olivera is forced to sentence someone they truly wish they could help.
Olivera, district court judge over the Veterans Treatment Court in Cumberland County, North Carolina, showed the world his kind heart after he was forced to sentence former Green Beret Joe Serna for probation violation.
As a Gulf War veteran, Olivera is no stranger to the life-altering experience of combat. He’s seen plenty, placing him in a unique position to serve both his community and his fellow servicemen as a judge.
When Serna’s case came before him, Olivera was deeply moved.
Serna, a three-tour veteran of the war in Afghanistan and two-time Purple Heart recipient, is one of the innumerable veterans who find themselves suffering from PTSD and unable to cope back home.
For many veterans like Serna, alcohol or drugs seem to be waiting with open arms, offering false comfort and sending them on a downward spiral of self-destruction. The Veterans Treatment Court exists to serve veterans fighting this kind of battle, and it became Judge Olivera’s mission to make a difference in Serna’s life.
Serna was arrested for drunk driving a few years before this court date. One condition of his probation was that he was strictly prohibited from drinking alcohol. But when Serna lied about a recent urine test, Olivera couldn’t just let it slide.
“I gave Joe a night in jail because he had to be held accountable,” Olivera recounted to CBS.
Later on, when Serna entered his cell for the night, terrible memories came flooding back into his mind, memories of the event that sparked his PTSD.
“When I walked into the jail cell, and they closed the door behind me, I started feeling this anxiety,” Serna said. “It came back—a flashback.”
As an Army Sargent First Class, Serna survived an IED and a suicide bomber during his time in Afghanistan, but that wasn’t the event that shook him. Instead, it was a simple truck ride with three other men in his company that proved to be the most horrific event of his life.
“We were following the creek and the road gave way,” Serna recalled, tearfully, “And the vehicle went into the creek.”
As the water began rising in the truck, Serna found himself stuck and totally unable to move. The water rose up to his chin before finally subsiding and, tragically, he was the only one to leave that truck alive. Because of this incident, Serna not only suffers from PTSD, but extreme claustrophobia.
Judge Olivera, however, wasn’t finished with Serna. “I knew what Joe was going through and I knew Joe’s history. And he had to be held accountable,” Olivera said, “but I just felt I had to go with him. I felt I had to go with him.”
Within a few minutes of being locked up, Serna received the surprise of a lifetime when Judge Olivera walked through the door to join him for the night.
“We talked about our families,” Serna said, smiling. “The walls didn’t exist anymore. He brought me back to North Carolina from being in a truck in Afghanistan.”
“He is a judge, but that night, he was my battle buddy,” Serna said. “He knew what I was going through. As a warrior, he connected.”
And, just like that, Olivera, who saw his brother-in-arms struggling, lifted him up and carried him through the night, and hopefully sparked a change leading to a brighter future for Serna.
WATCH: A Group of Strangers Work Together to Save Puppies From Pet Store Inferno
The incredible lengths even a stranger off the street will go to in order to save a life, even when their efforts may put their own lives at risk, never cease to amaze.
When a fire broke out at Puppy Love, a pet store in Danbury, Connecticut, 86 terrified puppies were trapped in the blaze.
According to San Antonio Express-News, the call came in around 9 pm that the building had caught fire, and firefighters arrived on the scene in just two minutes. A second alarm was called in right away, but the firefighters knew they had to act quickly to rescue the animals inside.
“Chief, we gotta get the animals out,” one firefighter was overheard saying.
That’s when concerned members of the Danbury community started coming out of the woodwork to help rescue the howling dogs inside Puppy Love.
Civilians stopped their cars in the street, diners at neighboring restaurants got up from their seats, and even the manager of a nearby bar ran to the scene to break into the building and start pulling out crates containing the helpless, whimpering pups.
Even with brave citizens boldly smashing windows to rescue dogs in their crates, the sheer volume of animals inside forced them to come up with another plan.
With the heaviest flames still at the back of the building, the incredible crew of firefighters and civilians quickly formed a “human chain” to pull the dogs out of the building, Deputy Fire Chief Steve Williams said.
Thanks to their bravery, all 86 dogs and puppies were safely evacuated from the building and no injuries to animal or human were reported.
Sean Silverman, who co-owns Puppy Love with his wife, Nancy, revealed that the fire originated at a pole barn behind the store owned by a local utility company.
The Silvermans made their immense gratitude to the community who rallied behind them known in a recent Facebook post.
“We want to thank all of the Danbury Fire Department, City of Danbury Police Department, many veterinarian staff of Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital and South Salem Animal Hospital, staff of Stanziato’s Wood Fired Pizza and the whole community of Danbury and beyond for reaching out and helping the Puppy Love family!”
“All of our puppies are safe, warm and happily ate an extra dinner tonight,” they continued. “Stanziatos was kind enough to open their doors to us so our puppies have temporary housing while our store can be cleaned and be put back to order.”
This fire could have been a heartrending tragedy, but thank goodness for the brave firefighters and civilians who risked their own lives to give this story a happy ending.
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